Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Hurricane Katrina and the bungled government response have weakened President Bush, raising questions among Americans about his Iraq and Gulf Coast spending plans and spreading fears among fellow Republicans that his troubles could be contagious. An AP-Ipsos poll shows a sharp increase in the percentage of people concerned about the economy since the storm. Less than half approve of Bush's handling of Katrina. Less than a third give him good marks on gas prices. As many Republicans fear, the survey shows signs of conflict between Bush's top two priorities: the Iraq war and post-Katrina recovery.
Given a choice in the survey, 42 percent favored cutting spending on Iraq to pay for relief efforts on the Gulf Coast, and 29 percent wanted to delay or cancel Republican tax cuts. That's a whopping 71 percent backing options that Bush doesn't even have on the table.
Two-thirds said the president was spending too much in Iraq. Just as many were concerned the money was not being spent wisely.